Restarting the Conversation for Long-range Vision

When it comes to vision statements, many church leaders have lost interest. And for good reason–most vision statements are generic and useless. I like to say that your church really doesn't need a vision statement, it needs a visionary state of mind. Yet, there needs to be a way to cultivate that state of mind. Your team does need some ideas on paper to become a sort of "mental charging station" for themselves and other leaders.  Think of a vivid vision statement as "base camp" for the team to assemble around, in order to take "vision casting treks" and "meaning excursions" all day long; that is the daily work of ministry.

So how do you get this vision thing right? What does success look like?  I answer the question for you in my new book God Dreams. More than that, I created a step-by-step guide for church teams.

To inspire you along the way, here is a case study from St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, CA, led by Rich Kannwischer. Before we jump into their “Restoring the Whole Family of God” vision, let's clarify what it is we are looking at.

First, it is a vivid description example of a long-range vision or what I call a "beyond-the-horizon" vision. Many have abandoned thinking long as discipline as a result of the constant changes of culture and technology. But for the church, there are many foundational reasons why leadership should think long-range. Here are twelve of them.

Second, it is only one fourth of what you need to have a complete visionary plan. This is the start – the long-range context to visionary plan. There are three other horizons to develop and the plan is eventually anchored in four immediate action initiatives in the next 90 days. To see the model for visionary planning check out how the Horizon Storyline works.

St. Andrew’s Vision: Welcome Home – Restoring the Whole Family of God

By the year 2020, we will see Saint Andrew’s transformed from a house of God to a home in Christ. In order to make this dream a reality, we will be putting our house in order, creating space to belong, extending the family, and renovating lives, one disciple at a time.

By putting our financial house in order, Saint Andrew’s can move forward in the freedom of a fresh start and new opportunities to welcome others to a home in Christ.

As we create space to belong, those we are welcoming feel at home. When you feel at home, you become free to be yourself. You relax, you get comfortable, and you want to stay and talk about what really matters. Our 2020 vision is that our campus feels like home and becomes home to many more families in our community.

Saint Andrew’s has a rich history of starting new ministries that have flourished and leveraged our reach for Christ—here, near, and far. By extending the family, our 2020 vision includes a new wave of mission innovation—planting new churches, extending our impact through technology, and giving more than one hundred homeless children in Orange County a permanent home.

By renovating lives through a discipleship institute, we will create a robust and replicable model for growing believers, guiding countless others in our mission of following Jesus Christ to lead lives that reveal God’s goodness.

Church: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Newport Beach, CA

Pastor: Richard Kannwischer

Vision Template: Spiritual formation that includes need adoption

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